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Beginner => Competent => Proficient

First Code Challenge

Code Challenges

This afternoon I took my first official code challenge. It was part of the application process for a job I’m interested in. I was nervous because time constrained tests have at times proved difficult. But there was a practice problem that I managed to complete so I wasn’t too worried. In retrospect, maybe I should have been.

Three Questions

There were three questions that I had to complete. I was given ninety minutes to do so and could make use of my text editor of choice and general documentation. All three questions involved manipulating data within an array. Either identifying an individual index or sorting or pulling some pieces out or shoving others back in. They weren’t the most straight forward problems but, given my current level of understanding, they were things that I ought to be able to do. For various reasons reasons, thought, nerves mostly, I didn’t do as well as I could have. In fact I felt pretty bad when, with less than a minute to spare, I clicked the submit button.

Three Solutions

The disappointment faded shortly after I finished. It was replaced with a feeling of annoyance at myself and my performance. That feeling was soon replaced with a less judgmental view that, really, tests are hard. And I shouldn’t be too critical of myself or my performance. In general, I know how to work with arrays. And even if I wasn’t able to fully answer every question, I knew that with a little more work, I could.

So that’s what I did. I spent a decent chunk of time this evening figuring out various ways to go about solving each problem. I plan to talk to some friends tomorrow and get their input. And once I’m satisfied with the results, I’ll send them off to the folks who had me take the test. I’ll let them know that I’m capable of solving such problems. I don’t know if it will make any difference, but I’ll at least feel a bit better about it. And next time, I’ll likely do better because of what I learned tonight. Fingers crossed anyway.

Prime Complete

My last public post was dated February, 8th. There, I outlined the program that I had chosen to undertake and some of the things I hoped I’d be able to accomplish as well as some of the things that I feared. For the most part, my fears proved unfounded and as I was able to complete what I had hoped I would complete. So in that sense, I’m happy with the outcome. But I still have a lot of work left to do, a lot of things left to learn. Which I understood going in, so doesn’t come as any big shock or surprise.

My focus at this point is finding a job. While I certainly wish that I had a something lined up, I don’t. Not yet anyway. It’s a process like anything else and will take some time. But I have the necessary skills and feel like I could make a meaningful contribution to a team if given the chance. In the mean time, I’ll continue to push my learning and work on personal projects. I’ll keep reaching out to my peers and attending meet-ups in the area. I’ve already been in contact with a number of companies and am looking forward to continuing those conversations in the coming weeks. I’m confident that I’ll find something soon. It should be interesting.

Private Posts

As I’ve mentioned in the past, I write every day. The intent of this site was to have a place where I could put development related posts. A place where I could talk about what I was learning and the projects that I was working on. I’ve written about such things, but I haven’t actually posted them. I’m now considering going back and adding a few of them in. There’s a lot of material that I could share, but have been somewhat hesitant to do so. Learning can be messy, and putting that process out there is a little scary. But folks I’ve asked have encouraged me to do so anyway, so I think I will. Although maybe with a bit of editing thrown in. So that’ll be something to look forward to. As always, we’ll see how it goes.


Starting Again

Today I started the pre-work phase of Prime Digital Academy, an accelerated learning program for folks looking to transition into web development. I’ve tried this before. Tried to make the move on my own but have never quite made it. I’m hopeful that this time will be different. That spending a total of 18 weeks learning about web development will provide me with the foundation that I need to find a job and launch my career. I’m pretty anxious, apprehensive, but optimistic, too. I plan to take it one day at a time and focus on the task at hand. That’s the only way I know how to keep from getting overwhelmed.

The first six weeks are spent working on your own, watching and reading various tutorials. There are online meetings and discussion groups available for when I get stuck or need help. I’m hoping that they provide some additional motivation and support, too. It’s easy to get discouraged when working on your own so being able to reach out when your confused about a topic ought to help.

The second phase consists of twelve weeks of in-person training. We’ll be meeting every weekday from 8 to 5, with additional work expected during the evening and weekends. I’ll be moving up north shortly before hand. I have everything lined up so the transition shouldn’t be too bad. Fingers crossed.

Today I worked through the first module, an introduction to HTML and CSS. It was pretty basic but a nice refresher none the less. I’ll be completing another one tomorrow and then working on a few basic sites of my own to try and commit the material to memory. I’m not a huge fan of the tutorials that use an integrated text editor. I find them too restrictive. They also occasionally break and prevent you from progressing. I had that happen a few times today and it was pretty frustrating. In general, I don’t learn as much as I do when I’m just building things from scratch.

So that was day one. The first group meeting isn’t until Thursday. I’m looking forward to it, to meeting my classmates and the instructors. It’ll be nice to chat a bit and find out more about the group.

I don’t know how often I’ll post here. My goal is to add something once or twice a week. Just a quick check in and update on how things are progressing. I’ll try to add in and document what I’m learning, what’s sticking and what I’m struggling with. We’ll see how it goes. Until then.